Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made?

entrepreneurship geneEntrepreneurs are different.

Most of us would agree with that statement. There’s just something about them. We’re not exactly sure what the difference is, just that there is one. They have the it factor that distinguishes them from other individuals. We can’t put our finger on it. But we know it when we see it.

Often times when we see them, when we see it, we wonder; “how do they do it?” Was it luck or persistence? Passion or serendipity? Were they born that way or did they flip the switch from entry level sales associate to entrepreneur?

Is It In You?

Truth be told no one knows for sure. But, research suggests that entrepreneurs are made – born with a specific set of genes and characteristics.

Some personalities are much more favorable for entrepreneurship.” So says James V. Koch co-author of Born, Not Made: The Entrepreneurial Personality. In Koch’s opinion, transcripts and credentials are not the end-all-be-all of entrepreneurship. Instead, Knoch points to “someone’s personality and ability to bear risks” as a determining factor. According to Koch, that “seems to be hard-wired in the individual.”


Learn As You Go

Admittedly, I was someone who looked at self-employed owners and wondered how they did it. I wasn’t sure how or why they were able to do what they did. The only thing I knew for sure was that I didn’t have it in me. I needed security and comfort, certainty and reassurance that everything would be stable at the end of the day. That probably had a lot to do with my decision to become a teacher. I earned a degree in history and a certification to teach high school social studies. It was everything I thought it would be – predictable and secure.

Then life happened. My father passed away. I quit my job. I decided I would see if I had what it takes.

Flash forward to the present day and you’ll see that I’ve managed to find my way. I’m not saying that it’s been easy, I’ve had to battle my own certainty seeking DNA every step of the way. But, I am a representation that it is possible to learn as you go. I’ve become comfortable with the words failure and risk. It’s also worth mentioning that I didn’t learn these skills in business school. I don’t have an M.B.A. and never took a course in entrepreneurship. I don’t really have any qualifications. I just keep doing the work, learning every step of the way, persisting when I wanted to give up – or should have.

To answer the question posed in the headline of this post, “are entrepreneurs born or made?” I would have to answer, both. That said it’s obvious that some personality traits, some inherent skills, making entrepreneurial endeavors easier to enter into.

What do you think, are entrepreneurs born or made?

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.


  1. I think it’s both. Entrepreneurs can be either born or created, some may even need to face some challenges in their life before they realized they are better off as entrepreneurs.

  2. I think it has to be both as well. I think personally plays a very important part in entrepreneurship in that how well you deal with people and circumstances all depend on the kind of person you are. How you handle problems and find solutions, however, are mostly on skills.

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